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overhead shot of cast iron roast chicken with roasted vegetables, black and white dish towel, meat fork and carving knife to the side
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4.75 from 4 votes

Sweet Tea Brined Cast Iron Roast Chicken

You’ll never eat a dry bird again with this cast iron roast chicken recipe. The sweet tea brine adds flavor and moisture while cast iron produces more even cooking.
Course Entree, Main Courses
Cuisine American
Prep Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 190kcal
Author Lisa B.


For the brine:

  • 8 cups of water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 regular sized tea bags or 2 family sized tea bags
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 5-7 lb. whole chicken

For the poultry seasoning:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Vegetables for roasting optional


  • Combine water, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Stirring occasionally, boil until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea bag(s) . Allow the tea bag(s) to remain in the pot to steep while the mixture cools, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the tea bag.
  • Add the crushed red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.
  • Place the chicken in a container large enough to allow the brine to cover the meat completely. Pour the brine over it. Place the container in the refrigerator and let the chicken soak for 4-8 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the brine 45 minutes before it needs to go in the oven. Discard the brine. Allow the chicken air dry at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Brush the outside of the chicken with the olive oil.
  • Combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken generously with the seasoning mix.
  • For added flavor, you can stuff the cavity of the chicken with a peeled and quartered onion, garlic cloves and fresh herbs, if desired.
  • Tie the chicken legs together with twine.
  • Place the chicken in the cast iron skillet. Roast the chicken for 18 minutes per pound.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving.


Storage: Leftover chicken should be cooled completely before transferring the carved meat to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator and consume within four days.
Reheat: Leftover chicken can be reheated for a few in the microwave. Alternately, place the meat in a covered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
Freezing: Place leftover meat in an airtight freezer bag. Consume within three months.


Serving: 3ounces | Calories: 190kcal | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.6g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 179mg